this little print has been with me the past four places I’ve lived. usually in a place where I’ll see it every day. it makes me smile… something about the idea of a guy yelling beautiful truth towards someone who looks so discouraged.
growing up in Southern church culture, the idea of humans as inherently sinful was very familiar to me. & I still believe that this is true. but I’ll never forget one day in college, listening to a guy sitting on a stool towards the front of the room my church was meeting in. he explained that although he had a hard time accepting it, ultimately his identity before God was that he was loved… that God had loved him before he was born, that God loved him now, during his sin… & that God would still continue loving him after sin was no more. this simple truth blew my mind that morning & has been gradually reshaping my identity ever since. yes, I am–we are–desperately sinful, prone to wander. but before & in & after that, we are deeply loved by God. this is comfort & hope & peace… this is grace. this is reason to rejoice.
p.s. I also love what mary karr writes about communion in sinners welcome:
“‘you are loved,’ said someone. ‘take that & eat it.'”